Another winter dress

Here’s another January-appropriate dress, although I made this back in October, to wear to talk at . (That there is a video link.)

Specifics: it’s Liberty Lantana, but I don’t remember the pattern name — if you search for Liberty Lantana on eBay this one always comes up. (Lantana is the winter-perfect cotton/wool blend. Super soft, nicely warm, and wrinkle-resistant. Probably my favorite Liberty fabric type.) It’s the Simplicity 2389 bodice with the (heavily modified) Burdastyle skirt.

For colder weather I’ve been wearing this with a long-sleeved black t-shirt under it. And by “colder weather,” (sorry non-Californians) I mean around low 50s F. Below you can see the colorway — it’s mostly black, with a bunch of blue-y grays and a little warm taupe.

I used the extra-fat piping cord to make this piping. It’s very satisfying.

Here’s the zipper & pocket (also piped) in a washed out photo. (Honestly, #nofilter, my phone is just not that great.)

And the back, with my dress form at a jaunty (not to say off-kilter) angle.

I’ve taken a little break from this pattern but it’s calling to me again. The bodice is probably one of the most comfortable I’ve ever worn, and even those tricky-looking shoulders sew up easily. I’m thinking the next version will probably have a longer skirt (this one is knee length) and we’ll see how that proportion looks. I have some more Lantana …

Advertisements

A dress for a wedding (not a wedding dress) plus bonus kiltwearing

Haven’t posted in a while … there’s a backlog of new dresses and old patterns with new stories, but a shortage of TIME to post them in!

This picture, of course, takes priority, as it involves a kilt — that’s my handsome-yet-goofy younger brother in the McKean tartan with all the trimmings, ready to walk my little sister down the aisle at her lovely wedding in Brooklyn last weekend. (Don’t ask me which variant of the McKean/McIan tartan this is, it could also be some kind of McDonald? Genealogy is complimacated.)

She asked me to stand up for her as well (that’s why I’m holding a sheaf of lavender, that’s not a customary accessory of mine) and asked me to wear navy blue.  (Of course I did not own a navy blue dress of any kind whatsoever.)

After a few false starts, I finally just made THE SAME OLD DRESS I’VE BEEN MAKING FOR THE LAST FOUR MONTHS. Here’s a post where you can see the lines of the dress. It’s the Simplicity 2389 bodice with the (heavily modified) Burdastyle skirt. And now I have a navy dress.

I don’t own navy shoes, because navy shoes never match anything else that’s navy, so the silver ankle-straps were left over from that part of the early 2000s where I was going to a lot of weddings. I forgot how painful they were — note my “let me just relieve the pressure on this foot here” stance — so they were exchanged for flats at the earliest possible point of the proceedings.

At the shoulder you can kind of maybe partly see that I did do piping for this one as well — self-bias piping with nice fat cord. The fabric is a kind of faille so the corded piping has a nice bias twist to it, very satisfying (if nearly invisible).

It was a very happy day. Hope your days have been happy, too.

Hearts and Bones

I finished this dress up last weekend:

This here is the part I like best. I was going to do plain red piping, but the reds didn’t match. (And neither did the maroons or blues. I have more piping than a Scottish funeral.)

The striped piping is from Britex. Every time I go in I have this little surge of hope that they’ve decided to carry even more patterned cotton piping, and then I see that the choices are basically pinstripes, leopard, and neon. I’ve bought all the stripey ones; I’m just not really a leopard-print kinda gal; but I’m sure someday I will manage to avoid the gorge-rising nausea upon seeing neon colors that the early 1980s left me with and you will see some fluorescent pink piping here in these pages.

Here’s an off-center and slightly unfocused front view!

I suppose at this point I should mention that the bodice is Simplicity 2389 (again) and the skirt (for a change) is BurdaStyle with some alterations.

What alterations? Well, I added 6″ to the skirt center back and front, and lengthened the skirt by about 8″ to ensure a deep, deep hem. I really like this version of the Heidi skirt — it’s very comfortable, and for some reason manages to cohere with the 1940s bodice and feel modern at the same time.

I piped the back yoke seam this time, too:

Except I forgot that the yoke has to meet the facing at center back and had to kludge in a little bit more piping. Also, the back facing DID NOT want to turn nicely over that piping bit, so I finally just said “this is a design feature” and left it at that.

Here you can see the piping meeting at the underarm (probably another reason that piping the back is not as good an idea as it might seem), as well as the pocket piping and the zipper:

The whole back view (I’m not sure what was up with the lighting when I took these, weekends have been fairly sunny lately):

 

This voile is lighter than I’m used to, so I thought I might have to line it. Instead I settled for a heavier slip than usual and cutting the pocket lining and neck facing from this weird pale pale pink linen/cotton voile I had lying around. Since I’m mostly pale pale pink too, it seems to work. I have another one cut out where the fabric really was translucent, so I ended up underlining it in black voile, which is creating a kind of goth-flavored mallard color effect (that fabric is teal).

I ended up wearing this to a last week — I hesitated a tiny bit about wearing something so flat-out girly, as the gender ratio at these things approaches that of your typical offshore oil rig and/or professional football team (only with more ironically-worn mustaches and skinnier jeans). But it wasn’t as if I was going to magically become any less of an outlier in a plain denim dress (choice #2) than I was in this one, and since I hadn’t really worn it yet (and really wanted to), on it went.

Honestly, since I’m not looking for a job, I have a whole lot less risk in wearing something super-girly at tech conferences. And if I wear something like this, I can set some kind of upper bar and make other people look moderate in comparison, and gradually move the whole bar of “conference wear” further in my direction, right? That’s the plan, anyhow.

It was a total luxury to be able to go to this conference, by the way. I’ve been dabbling in Node.js for a bit and have finally reached the stage where a tiny archipelago of scattered knowledge is emerging from the receding seawaters of my ignorance. However, I am still looking for navigable channels between the islands, and a conference is one of the fastest ways I know of to connect the dots.

There’s something about going into a talk where you know nothing about anything in the description, grabbing onto the first idea tossed out by the presenter that connects to anything you know, and following along, knot by knot and intersection by intersection, until you have a lovely net with which to catch the entire topic.

Usually when I learn anything new it’s like taking the Tube in London: I get on at one subterranean stop and clamber back up the light in a completely different place, and couldn’t for the life of me say how to get back to the first stop overland. Going to a conference is like riding around on the top of a bus: I can finally see how all the different neighborhoods join up and how to walk between them. And coding is such a lovely city …

 

Piping Merrily Along

This dress is all about the piping:

Okay, it’s also about being in one of my all-time favorite Liberty prints, , but mostly it’s about this gathered-shoulder silhouette:

And if you’re going to pipe the shoulder seams, you must pipe the pockets as well (it’s the law):

The shoulder piece makes this really nicely satisfying curved seam at the back neck (ignore my rolling-facing issues):

The shoulder/sleeve has a turnunder for hemmish purposes, which is a feature I always like. Makes things simpler:

Here’s the back view, a bit wrinkly as I wore this for a few hours before taking these pictures:

Last but not least, the full front view:

This pattern is Simplicity 2389 (well, for the bodice, the skirt is that much-adjusted Simplicity 5238). (All rollover text in this post from the .)

There’s still something wonky going on with the side bodice seams, and the fabric is a bit light for the deep front pleat, but I really like this dress. It’s very light and comfortable without feeling skimpy (although the front V is slightly lower than I usually wear). The sleeves are great for full range of motion (have you realized that too-tight armholes are one of my pet peeves, yet?)

There’s another version of this in a , that’s in pieces on my sewing table — hope to have it finished and posted soon.